Opera Software said it would apply on Tuesday for its mobile browser to be distributed on Apple's iPhone, seeking to crack a new and potentially lucrative market closely guarded by Apple.

Analysts have said Apple -- whose application store is the only way to distribute software for iPhone users -- could try to stop Opera, to maintain control of its Internet browsing function, a key behind the success of the iPhone.

Opera said it saw no reason why its Mini browser, the world's most widely used on cellphones, should be rejected.

Opera showed the browser -- which promises up to six times faster download speeds than Apple's own browser and to cut data traffic by up to 90 percent -- last month at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

Massive data traffic from iPhone mobile phones has caused problems for many operators' networks.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Dan Lalor)